intro to proseminar geo 518 winter 2006 l.
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  1. Intro to ProSeminar: Geo 518Winter 2006 GEO 518 Anne Nolin and Dawn Wright

  2. Outline for 9 January 2006 • Course information • Introductions • Three major areas of OSU geography • Honing in on a research topic • Listing your keywords • The literature review: the Hows, Whys and Wherefores

  3. Course Information • Syllabus and course website • Learning objectives • Weekly readings • Assignments

  4. Grading • 20% Attendance & participation as well as short in-class assignments • 20% Homework assignments • 20% Student-led panel discussions • 40% Research proposal including: • outline (with some detail) • written proposal • presentation of proposal • appendix of an annotated bibliography of 10 scientific articles.

  5. OSU Geography Program • Definitions: • Physical Geography • Resource Geography • Geographic Information Science

  6. Introductions

  7. Honing in on a research topic • "It is really important to do the right research as well as to do the research right. You need to do 'wow' research, research that is compelling, not just interesting."George Springer, chairman of the aeronautics and astronautics department at Stanford University

  8. 11 points to consider (From Robert Smith, in his book Graduate Research: A Guide for Students in the Sciences (ISI Press, 1984) • Can it be enthusiastically pursued? • Can interest be sustained by it? • Is the problem solvable? • Is it worth doing? • Will it lead to other research problems? • Is it manageable in size?

  9. 11 points (continued) • What is the potential for making an original contribution to the literature in the field? • If the problem is solved, will the results be reviewed well by scholars in your field? • Are you, or will you become, competent to solve it? • By solving it, will you have demonstrated independent skills in your discipline? • Will the necessary research prepare you in an area of demand or promise for the future?

  10. Develop a list of keywords that describe your interest in a particular research area Snow Glaciers/ice sheets Climate change Arctic Pacific Northwest Water resources Sea level rise Socio-economic impacts Remote sensing Sensor webs Where to start?

  11. The Literature Review The Hows, Whys, and Wherefores

  12. What is a Literature Review? • an overview of previous research on your research topic • a comprehensive review of all published research that is relevant to your proposed investigation and guided by your research objectives

  13. Questions to Keep in Mind: • What is known about the subject? • Are there any gaps in the knowledge of the subject? • Have areas of further study been identified by other researchers that you may want to consider? • Who are the significant research personalities in this area? • Is there consensus about the topic? • What aspects have generated significant debate on the topic? • What methods or problems were identified by others studying in the field and how might they impact your research? • What is the most productive methodology for your research based on the literature you have reviewed? • What is the current status of research in this area? • What sources of information or data were identified that might be useful to you? (from

  14. Purpose of a Literature Review • Convey the depth and breadth of research that has been accomplished on a subject • Supports the motivation and significance of the research • Identify important issues and link to hypotheses • Identify key areas of missing knowledge • Describe methodologies used • Describe existing data sets • Link proposed research to previous and ongoing research efforts -- provide context

  15. Purpose of a Lit Review • Helps you learn everything about your subject • Ensures that you are not “reinventing the wheel” • Helps you learn about the people in the field (important for networking)

  16. How to do a Literature Review • Define the research topic • Compile and prioritize a list of keywords • Identify sources of information • Read, evaluate, analyze all the works • Discuss findings and conclusions with others -- important for understanding context, gaps in previous research • Divide works into supportive and antithetical positions • Identify relationships between works in the literature • Articulate how these apply to your research

  17. Identify Resources • Books • Journals • Conference Papers • Dissertations • Bibliographies • Maps • Internet • Indexes/Abstracts Printed • Electronic Databases • Government publications • Theses • Interviews and other unpublished research

  18. Assessment • Assess the quality of the information source: • refereed journal article? • conference proceedings? • corporate report? • Assess the standing of the author • academic? • journalist? • government employee? • is the work in their major field of research?

  19. Evaluate the Information • determine the facts/points of view • examine new findings • question assumptions • determine if methodology is appropriate • are the objectives clearly outlined • do the conclusions logically follow from the objectives? • identify classic, “landmark” articles

  20. Continually Evaluate Your Research Process • No relevant information? • Need to reconsider your search strategy • New keywords • Explore other disciplines for information • Too many irrelevant items? • Re-evaluate keywords • Narrow scope of your search • Document your search strategy • Keep multiple lists of keywords • Indicate what works, what doesn’t

  21. Getting the Information • Download full text from the Internet • University library • Interlibrary loan • Government offices • Specialty libraries

  22. Information Management • Select a strategy for organizing information • Notecards (primitive but it works!) • List of references on a computer • Bibliographic database software (EndNote) • Develop good lit search habits • Start immediately • Keep searches up to date • Summarize papers that you read

  23. Questions?